The Iranian military, with its mostly 1970s-vintage weaponry, posed no serious threat to the world’s largest and most sophisticated armed forces. A combination of robust sanctions and a credible military threat by the United States would have compelled the Iranians to make more far-reaching and substantive concessions than the few largely symbolic gestures contained in this deal.
These were the terms that Israel sought and communicated to American decision makers. We have the greatest interest in reaching a good diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear threat, and the most to lose from either a bad deal or a resort to force. After all, in any confrontation with Iran, Hezbollah and other proxies are poised to fire thousands of rockets at our homes.
Israel would have embraced an agreement that significantly rolled back the number of centrifuges and nuclear facilities in Iran and that linked any sanctions relief to demonstrable changes in its behavior. No more state support of terror, no more threatening America’s Middle Eastern allies, no more pledges to destroy the world’s only Jewish state and no more mass chants of “Death to America.” Israel would have welcomed any arrangement that monitored Iran’s ICBMs and other offensive weaponry. Such a deal, Israeli leaders across the political spectrum agree, was and remains attainable.